Thursday 14 November 2019

How Wayne Rooney continually flops at Liverpool

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney (R) is taken off by Alex Ferguson during their English Premier League soccer match against Liverpool at Anfield in 2005
Manchester United's Wayne Rooney (R) is taken off by Alex Ferguson during their English Premier League soccer match against Liverpool at Anfield in 2005

There are few things that Wayne Rooney has not achieved in his glittering club career.

The Manchester United striker has collected five Premier League titles, two League Cups and one Champions League since moving to Old Trafford in 2005, and two Player of the Year awards for his efforts in the 2009-10 season.

He is on course to break Bobby Charlton's all-time record goals tally for United - he needs 21 to surpass Charlton's total of 249 - and will probably have his pick of ambassadorial roles with the club when he finally decides to walk away.

But one glaring omission on Rooney's United CV is his record at the home of the club's fiercest rivals. In fact, Rooney's run against Liverpool at Anfield in the Premier League is one of almost unmitigated misery.

Here is a breakdown of his 10 appearances at Anfield, including two matches played with Everton in 2002 and 2004:

Games -10

Minutes played- 745

Goals - 1

Shots - 9

Shots on target - 3

Assists - 1

Chances created - 7

His only goal at Anfield came on his first appearance there with United, in Jan 2005, which secured a 1-0 victory. Since then, he has not only failed to score at Liverpool but has produced just two shots on target in seven appearances at the ground.

Quite why Rooney should have endured such a wretched return is anyone's guess. It is not as if Rooney can be described as a flat-track bully who goes missing against the bigger teams: nobody in United's history can match his tally of 11 goals in the Manchester derby, while he has an astonishing 14 against Arsenal.

Then again, Rooney's woes at Liverpool can be viewed as part of a wider malaise for United at the home of their bitterest enemies. United have only won once on their past six visits to Anfield in all competitions and on that occasion, in Sep 2012, Rooney did not play. Four of those games have been lost, and there has been one draw.

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